Wildlife Crossings

Wildlife Crossings

ECO-resolutions LLC is uniquely qualified to assess habitat fragmentation impacts and design wildlife crossings, including bridges, culverts and overpasses, to provide safe passages for wildlife. Understanding connectivity needs for wildlife is particularly important in the face of increasing development, recreational activity, and energy development (renewable and traditional), and as an adaptation to long-term environmental transitions, such as global climate change. We bring extensive experience in the siting and design of functional and cost-effective mitigation measures to address your wildlife crossing needs at roadways, railways, pipelines and transmission lines. We have overseen multiple projects and conducted research in a variety of landscapes, and have developed an exceptional understanding of the features that promote or inhibit connectivity for wildlife across roads or other infrastructure.

 

Select Projects

 Highway 9 Wildlife Crossings Design

Client: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Objective: Provide species-specific design recommendations for 2 wildlife overpasses, 5 underpasses, wildlife fencing and associated infrastructure.

Outcome: Advised Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado Department of Transportation in the design of a ‘shelf-ready’ wildlife crossings project for a 13-mile road segment known to have high incidence of animal-vehicle collisions, primarily involving elk, mule deer and pronghorn antelope.

 Connectivity Assessment and Recommendations for the I-70 Mountain Corridor

Client: Federal Highway Administration, Colorado Department of Transportation

Objective: Through a transparent, stakeholder-informed process, develop solutions for restoring and mitigating transportation impacts on habitat connectivity for wildlife and to reduce collisions with wildlife along 126 miles of the I-70 Mountain Corridor in Colorado.

Outcome: Through analyses of wildlife habitat and movement areas, and wildlife monitoring at existing culverts and bridges, the team identified connectivity zones and developed specific recommendations for enhancing wildlife connectivity in each zone. These recommendations, connectivity data, best management practices and a list of early enhancement opportunities have been integrated into CDOT’s project development website.

 A Passage Assessment System (PAS) for Evaluating the Permeability of Existing Structures for Wildlife

Client: Washington Department of Transportation

Objective: Develop a tool for evaluating existing culverts and bridges for their ability to pass different types of terrestrial wildlife.

Outcome: The PAS enables DOTs to prioritize opportunities to retrofit existing structures for the greatest cost efficiency, and identify locations where new infrastructure investments are needed to create safe passages for terrestrial wildlife, based on species-specific needs and requirements. Link to report here.

  Terrestrial Species Movement Guilds: A Wildlife Classification System for Road Ecologists, USA

Client: Washington Department of Transportation

Objective: Develop a system for categorizing terrestrial wildlife species based on their responses to roads and crossing structures.

Outcome: ECO-resolution, in collaboration with colleagues at Utah State University and the USDA Forest Service, created a system for categorizing terrestrial wildlife species based on their responses to roads and crossing structures – behavior that is largely influenced by predator detection and avoidance strategies, as well as an animal’s size and capacity for locomotion. This is a unique classification is designed to facilitate an understanding of species-specific needs and is used to inform the design of new crossing structures.

Wildlife Monitoring at Existing and Potential Crossing Structures

Client: Multiple locations

Objective: Monitor wildlife use of structures under or over roadways using motion triggered cameras, track beds, hare snares, and/or snow tracking transects to assess wildlife use of structures under or over roadways, and activity adjacent to roadways or in the approaches to crossing areas.

Outcome: These studies have informed decision-making by providing an analysis of where wildlife are most active, where animals are approaching the roadway, attempting crossings, or possibly avoiding the roadway altogether.

Wildlife Linkage Assessments

Client: Federal Highway Administration, Colorado Department of Transportation

Objective: Identify key wildlife movement areas for wildlife across the state of Colorado.

Outcome: Statewide connectivity assessment to guide coordinated landscape-scale transportation planning. In Phase II of the project, detailed assessments were conducted for twelve high-priority linkages identified in the statewide assessment, resulting in specific recommendations for new crossing structures, retrofitting existing structures and other mitigation strategies. This project was designated a 2006 FHWA Exemplary Ecosystem Initiative

© J. Kintsch